Readers’ Blog

Suddenly Seventeen

Viewed 4654 times 2016-12-16 08:54 |Personal category:Movie|System category:Life| feminism

I watched the movie-Suddenly Seventeen with a friend last night. On many levels, the movie outdoes its many counterparts produced in China.


The scriptwriter did an excellent job in grasping the trend of mainstream culture-the rising feminism in China. Therefore no wonder many people females in particular find it pretty easy for them to relate to the story in the movie.


Liang Xia, the leading actress, already 28, has given up furthering her education abroad and chasing after her dream of becoming an artist as she reckons her romantic relationship with her boyfriend-Mao Liang prioritizes over pretty much everything in life. Her firm conviction is that her boyfriend will keep his promise of proposing to her on the very day of their tenth anniversary.


Of course, there is always a twist if not more waiting there. Rather than the sweet proposal, what awaits for her on that day is nothing but  break-up. She is so heart-broken that she decides to eat her feelings. When watching Tv, she is informed that there is a kind of magical chocolate able to make people forget their troubles and become happy again. Once she swallowed the chocolate, she becomes 17 again. By experiencing life at both 17 and 28 alternatively, she gradually finds herself who has been lost for too long.


I can't love Xiao Liang Xia ( the one at 17) more. She seems to have this ability to make people jealous. She is confident, courageous, fearless and a bit self-willed. Her face always overflows with vitality and hope which rarely can be seen on the face of others who have weathered ups and downs in life. She is like a free spirit while the majority of us are either caged birds or trapped creatures.


Looking back now, 17 to me is no where near to be as beautiful and vibrant as  Xiao Liang Xia's. My 17 like most of my peers had the one and only goal-preparing for the life-changing Chinese Gaokao. But I have to admit that I had this dreamy period in my puberty believing I could be somebody and make a difference in this world. In senior high school, probably because I was relatively good at Chinese writing, I developed it into an outlet for my stress as well as negative feelings. I naively thought one day, I would write a book to tell a fabricated but genuine story which would be instantly famous and be read by tons of people. Then I would not be invisible any more because nothing is more painful for a teen than to be ignored. The goal was aborted even before I could do anything about it. That was because after I had practiced Chinese argumentative essay writing (the writing style frequently tested in Gaokao) for a long time, I regretfully knew that I had lost my touch of creative writing. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to pick up my Chinese writing even until now.


I am 27 this year and soon will reach 28. I am not afraid of people knowing my age. Compared to that, honestly I am more afraid of myself knowing how fast I am growing old.


That said, if you granted me a time machine, I would not want to fly back. We all know youth is beautiful in its own unique way, the rosy cheek, the carefree smile, the shinning eyes glistening with hope and yearn. But we are too fragile to lead the life we truly desire at such a young age. If going back meant that I would get frustrated with the petty and trivial things all over again, I would rather stay where I am now.


The reason why Xiao Liang Xia's 17 is so glamorous is that she doesn't have problems associated with either study or parents in the movie. In reality many teenagers are plagued with those issues at that special time. Desirable as youth is, no time in life is free of worry. When we recall our past, we subconsciously filter the worries and fears out to leave only the fond memory, which makes the past extremely appealing. If we relived it, we would be reminded of all the unhappiness. We are simply cheated by our memory.


One of the concepts I find applaudable in the movie is the encouragement of independence. It urges people women in particular to go after their dreams and to live their own life instead of living a life surrounding their partners. Traditionally, in China, wives would stay at home to take care of the children and other chores while husbands bring bacon home.

So marriage in the past was exceptionally important for a female because once getting married, she found herself someone she could fall back on. However, with the staggering improvement in people's life standards, females nowadays receive quality education and show extraordinary ability in their workplace just like males.


More and more females nowadays become both financially and emotionally independent. What they are after in a relationship is not materialistic stuff any longer. They demand more attention, love, care and time from their partners. If their needs are not met, they normally will move on with their own life and start seeking the right person again. Even though it is difficult for them to find their Mr, Right, they have all the time needed to wait for that person to show up because they are constantly exploring new things and areas in life during the process of seeking. Even without the right person, their life is just as splendid.


Nothing feels greater than living a life in one's own way. There are maybe many limits and boundaries to restrain us from doing that. But when we become strong, we may be able to break them and be closer to the life we want.


After all, no one wants to live a passive life with some else being the leader steering the wheel of life and telling him/her where to go. Life is too precious to live it like that. This world is full of mysteries worth exploring and new area or creature worth discovering. Sometimes when I think about this, it excites me.


"I am tired of waiting for you to turn your back." ---Liang Xia


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

Like 0 Share


Comment (0 comments)

facelist doodle Doodle board

You need to login to comment Login | register


Recent comments

  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

Star blogger










Most Viewed

Most commented

Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.